I remember when KitKat, my oldest, was a baby. I couldn’t wait for her to get bigger and be able to interact with me and other kids, walk without being held, and feed herself (among many other wishes and desires).
She grew up way too fast, and soon she was out of the toddler years and on to more grown up things. Luckily, I had 4 more kids to fill the space, and I spent MANY years in the toddler and post-toddler stages. Despite the challenges of running errands with little ones and teaching them all the new skills that they need to learn, I adored the post-toddler years (times 5!).
I especially loved the 2 years before AJ, my youngest, started school. He was the only child at home (a huge thing for a mother of 5!) and I was able to focus all of my attention on post-toddler things. We took outings together a few times a week, we cooked together at home, and we did lots and lots of crafty projects. We had a blast together. Here are a few of our favorite things:
- Play dough – there is something magical about this goopy stuff. My kids loved to squish, cut, and shape play dough. We loved to make our own play dough (it’s softer than the stuff you buy at the store).
- Rice – not to eat. Rice is a GREAT toy! I would buy a huge bag of rice and pour it DRY into a covered bin. I added some measuring cups, funnels, and cars and let the kids play. It’s easier to clean up than sand, and I didn’t worry so much about rice getting in eyes or hair or the carpet.
- Cups with straws – As kids transition from bottles and sippy cups, straws are the perfect helper.
- Picture books – I LOVE to read, and I also love to collect books for me and the kids. I gathered as many as possible at thrift stores and used book stores. We grew a little library of our own!
- Shoes with velcro – As a mom with 5 kids, I needed my little ones to be able to do as much as possible to get ready on their own. Velcro is a mom’s friend!
- Crayons, paper, and scissors – My kids spent HOURS (and still do!) coloring, cutting, and making things with paper. I didn’t need to buy any special products. Simple white copy paper and a pack of crayons (along with some kid-safe scissors) kept them busy for a long time!
- Movies and videos – Although I wouldn’t want to put my kids in front of the TV or DVD player all day long, I loved when they got to the stage where they would sit still for an entire DVD. There is so much great programming out there for toddlers and preschoolers that actually teach kids important things!
- Kid-sized versions of Mom’s things – My kids (especially when they were younger and more impressionable…) loved to follow me around doing the things I do. If I was sweeping, they liked to get a kid-sized broom to sweep along side me. If I was cooking, they wanted to have their own mixing bowl and spoon to cook with me, too. I embraced it and let them get used to the tools that I used to cook and clean and do everything around the house. It was a great togetherness activity and it taught them how to do jobs around the house.
Guess what? GoodNites® and Better in Bulk are giving away an ENORMOUS Post-Toddler Go-To Product Gift Basket. The basket includes some of my favorite toddler necessities PLUS a really handy gift card for YOU. Here’s a peek at what’s inside:
- GoodNites® Product Vouchers
- Skip Hop Bags – Perfect for pre-school and summer sleepovers
- Foogo Water Bottle – Great for summer travel; adjusts to the child’s developmental stage
- Bob Book – Great bedtime activity for parents and kids in the beginning stages of reading; calming bedtime experience for parent and child
- Toothbrush and Hand Washing Timer – Fun tool for kids just learning about personal hygiene
- Night Time Chore Cards – Helpful reminders for daily bedtime activities
- KC Wipes – Mom-approved summer helper for Mom after outside play and traveling
- Bubbles – Tried and true fun summer activity for kids in this age range
- Crayons, Stickers – Helps them express and encourage creativity
- Movie Passes – Children at this age are finally able to sit through a movie and comprehend the content; great rainy summer day activity
- $100 Gift Card (AMEX)
To enter to win this Gift Basket, visit the GoodNites® website and comment here with something that you learned or leave your best night-time bedwetting tip to help other parents.
For extra entries, you are welcome to share this post by tweeting, Facebook liking, or stumbling (it’s easy using the share buttons included in this post!)
GoodNites® is sponsoring a Twitter Party with Mom It Forward on August 2.
- What: Girls’ Night Out (#gno) Twitter party (Click here to learn about #gno!)
- When: August 2 from 9-11 p.m. EST (8 CT, 7 MT, & 6 PT)
- Where: Party with us on our very own Custom Tweetgrid! (Use hashtags #gno and #GoodNites)
Please note: I am participating in the GoodNites® Blogger Ambassador program and I am compensated for my time. The thoughts and experiences expressed here are my own.
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